X:1 T: Muddy Roads N:Transcribed by Mark Simos from the playing of Gaither N:Carlton (Deep Gap, N.C.) M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:Frets Magazine, July 1987 (p. 66) K:D G2 GG E2 EF|G2E2 GE- EE|G2 GG E2 EG|(3B/c/B/ AG FD- D2| G2 GG E2 EF|G2 E2 EE- EF|G2 GG E2 BE|(3BcB AG FD- D2|| f4 d3f|gfed cA-Ac|e3f e3d|(3BcB AG FD- D2| f4 d3f|gfed cA-Ac|e2 ef e2 (3ded|(3BcB AG FD- D2||
MUDDY ROADS. American, Reel (cut time). USA, North Carolina. G Major ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Frets, Phillips, Silberberg): ABB (Johnson): AABB (Brody, Kaufman, Spadaro). Kaufman (1977) credits Gaither Carlton  (1901–1972, Deep Gap, N.C.) with popularizing the melody. Carlton was a member of the Watson family, which included famous guitarist Doc Watson, his son-in-law. The family was recorded in the early 1960's by folklorist Ralph Rinzler. According to Jeff Place (liner notes to the 1990 reissue of the Folkways recording "The Watson Family), Doc's uncle, Ben Miller, used to play the song around the house when Doc was a child. Doc's father, it seems, knew some verses to the song (see below), but the family recorded it as an instrumental for Rinzler.
Got Uncle Joe, got Uncle Willie,
Went out hunting for the wild willy-nilly.
Didn't get one; got ten or twenty,
Take 'em into town and make lots'a money.
Muddy roads, muddy roads! ... (Johnson)
Doc Watson remembers his father singing the following verses to it:
The way is dark and the road is muddy
Girls so drunk they can't stand steady.
Beans in the pot and the hoecake a-bakin',
Pickin' the banjo and the strings all a-breakin'. ... [Frets Magazine]
See also Elijah Hill's cognate "Paddy in the Morning," particularly noticeable in the first strain.